Comelec requests BIR to make teachers, poll workers’ honoraria tax-free
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia bared Wednesday that the poll body has requested the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to make the honoraria of teachers and other poll workers tax-free.
Garcia, however, said that the BIR has not responded to their request to date.
“Kami po talaga ay sumasama at nakikidalamhati sa kanilang kalagayan. Gusto man po ng Commission on Elections na talagang ‘wag na po silang ma-charge ng tinatawag na income tax,” he shared in an ambush interview during the first day of local absentee voting.
(We enjoin teachers and sympathize with their situation. The Commission on Elections wants them to be exempted from income tax.)
“Kami po’y ilang beses nang gumawa ng sulat sa BIR sa pamamagitan po ng aming executive director. At the same time po, meron pa nga po kaming legal opinion na sinubmit sa Senado, sa Mababang Kapulungan patungkol sa proposal nila na i-tax exempt ang ating pong mga electoral boards or ‘yung mga guro,” he added.
(We repeatedly wrote a letter to BIR through our executive director. At the same time, we submitted a legal opinion to the Senate and the lower house to exempt our electoral boards or our teachers.)
According to Garcia, Comelec followed up with their request twice.
“Dalawang beses po kaming nag-follow up ng sulat para po baka pupwedeng kahit paano man lang administratively ay ‘wag nang pagbayarin po ng tax, ng buwis ang atin pong mga pobreng guro,” he said.
(We followed up with our letter twice, in hopes that maybe administratively, our poor teachers do not have to pay tax.)
Last year, the Comelec hiked the election pay of teachers and other poll workers who will serve in the May 9 national and local elections by P2,000.
The honoraria of poll workers are:
-election board (EB) chair – P7,000
-EB member, P6,000
-Department of Education supervising official – P5,000
-support staff – P3,000
-medical personnel – P3,000
The Department of Finance has earlier rejected the proposed tax exemption on election honoraria, citing concerns that it may trigger “clamor” for more exemptions for similar benefits given for other rendered services.
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